Extended Audio Sample

Download Aloft Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Aloft Audiobook, by Chang-Rae Lee Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,427 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Chang-Rae Lee Narrator: Don Leslie Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2004 ISBN: 9781598873207
Regular Price: $24.47 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

Life only seems structured and well-planned from a distance. Pilot Jerry Battle loves to fly alone. But when his daughter announces her engagement, he looks back on his life and faces his disengagement with it and the people he loves. "Leslie's reading ma Download and start listening now!

BK_HIGH_000161

Quotes & Awards

  • “I appreciate a writer who’s not overzealously committed to any one ideology or group, who likes to confound expectations, and who feels expansive enough in his spirit and ambitions to encompass not just his close kinsmen but the infamous Other. With Aloft, Chang-rae Lee proves himself just such a writer…[A] master craftsman.”

    Washington Post

  • “Lee’s genius is this confidential voice, full of cultural analysis, ironic asides, sexual candor, and unconscious revelations, laced along through one breathless paragraph after another in improbably extended sentences, perpetually buoyed by with and insight. He’s perfectly captured the conflicted confidence of a man who knows he can be a jerk but hopes that knowing that might win him consolation.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “Lee is a master in developing Battle’s narrative voice, one that is gentle, wistful, appealingly befuddled. There is great humor in the novel as well…He has delivered an affecting portrait of a man trying to define his place as a father, son, and lover in America today.”

    Boston Globe

  • “[A] majestic, moving novel….The glossy flawlessness of Lee’s prose is itself a metaphor, a symbol of the superficial perfection of America’s suburban splendor. Even though you can barely see the fault lines and stress fractures just below the surface, somehow it makes you feel them that much more keenly.”

    Time

  • “The prose is buoyant, as if, like Jerry, Lee himself feels liberated from the implacable laws of gravity governing American society…Aloft ends up as a homily in praise of gravity, though the ride that Lee provides fulfills the continued promise of lift…Prose that rise to heights above merely mundane sights and thoughts.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Accomplished, easygoing, gorgeously written…Like Richard Ford’s The Sportswriter or Richard Russo’s Straight Man, this wry, meditative novel relies entirely on Jerry’s voice to bring alive a wide cast of characters.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Lee writes with humor and acuity, swirling comic wit and subtlety into scenes so mundane and yet so poignant that the heart sighs in recognition…In a series of deft moves and touching, often droll moments, Lee links Jerry inextricably to his family. He also lets Jerry speak directly to the reader, like some actor winking into the camera, revealing the pretend to be all the more real.”

    USA Today

  • “Slyly entertaining…Filled with passage of revelation about who we are and what we are becoming.”

    San Jose Mercury News

  • “Chang-rae Lee writes about the complication of American life with a nuanced attention that is awesome…Aloft unfolds like a little origami box, each fold revealing yet another aspect of the complexities of aspirations, avocations, and ethnicities as they coalesce in the life of one Long Island family…Lee illumines Herry’s thoughts in the best Cheever-esque manner…In this rich, tragicomic, and thoroughly engrossing novel of suburban American life, Lee puts a masterful and poetic touch on the interstices of fragile emotional lives.”

    Baltimore Sun

  • “Lee is a spellbinder…When it comes to emotion, Lee is pitch-perfect…[Lee] pulls us inside Jerry’s skin, and we share in all his love and confusion and his fully realized humanity.”

    Hartford Courant

  • “[An] astonishing novel…Full of surprises, of emotional land mines…Chang-rae Lee designs beautifully meandering sentences that capture and pull a reader to the most unexpected of places…Simply getting lost in the author’s elegant and surprising prose is pleasure enough, but Lee is also a gifted storyteller, able to create scenes and images of profound emotional beauty…Stunning, full of vivid, off-kilter details that both shock and resonate…The joy of Aloft is not only its brilliant depiction of a modern man’s foundering attempt to keep his life perfectly manageable but also its deft ability to conjure up the most vibrant of feelings from a narrator who claims he has none. With this spectacular book, Chang-rae Lee proves himself one of our most riveting and remarkable novelists.”

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • “This is a story that rises above the trials and tribulations of one family. It’s a book about a vast slice of American society, its changing ethnicities and colors, its blurring of urban-suburban life, its ethical and moral choices, and its seemingly inherent optimism. In short, it’s a terrific book.”

    Chicago Sun-Times

  • Aloft is a traditional American novel in the best sense of the word traditional—a compelling plot, characters who change as the years pass, believable dialogue, a writing style that never perplexes, and turns of phrase that illuminate humanity in new ways…Beguilingly insightful.”

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

  • “The novel captures the ‘now’ and presents character that buzz with life…Lee invents narrators who, like the natural-born storyteller at a good cocktail party, can’t help but draw and keep a crowd…A fabulous storyteller.”

    Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • “In Aloft, [Lee] proves that he can evoke the desires and disappointments of the suburban territory mapped by Cheever, Yates, and Updike with similar artistry and compassion.”

    Miami Herald

  • “Affecting [and] richly ruminative…Lee presents us with a well-crafted, beguiling study of an insider looking for an out…By turns drolly incisive and elegiac, penetrating and poignant, Aloft, though a departure for Lee…is as provocative as it is evocative. Wonderfully curmudgeonly at times, the novel is peppered throughout with keen social observations…[A] hot ticket of a novel.”

    San Diego Union-Tribune

  • “Part of what makes the novel so successful is that Lee isn’t intent on blowing sunshine at us when we know life brings its share of bad weather. He succeeds in portraying the emotional growth of a man in terms that fit his character and culture…Aloft views suburban American life through the universal prism of a family growing up and growing old together. Without loop-the-loops or skywriting, Lee brings us quietly down to earth, engaging us in ‘the mystery ad majesty of out brief living.’”

    Rocky Mountain News

  • “Lee applies his remarkable storytelling skills to create a monstrous first-person narrator…A masterly portrait of a disaffected personality.”

    Library Journal

  • “Lee’s poetic prose sits well in the mouth of this aging Italian-American whose sentences turn unexpected corners…Jerry’s humble and skeptical voice and Lee’s genuine compassion for his compromised characters make for a truly moving story about modern family.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • One of the 2004 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction
  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarra | 2/9/2014

    " I got this audio book from the clearance table at Half Price Books. I grab anything that looks even mildly interesting, sometimes I get lucky, sometimes not. This was one of the lucky times. I really enjoyed this story of a 60ish widower and the trials and tribulations of his family. Set in Long Island, NY and the surrounding areas it gave me a welcome reminder of home. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 craige | 2/7/2014

    " I picked this book up at a used book store knowing nothing about it. So far, so good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 WK | 1/22/2014

    " I really liked this story and the way it was told. Over all it proves you are never too old to grow up. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nathan | 1/18/2014

    " Tangents are good, so long as you don't go down them. I'll read this again, which is the highest compliment I can give to a book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ann | 1/11/2014

    " An interesting character study. Well written, thoughtful commentary on family relationships. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 bruin | 1/11/2014

    " i love the way lee writes characters and fiction. full of brutal yet tender truths about racism, assimilation, gender, and family, lee is a masterful crafter of language--his books' pacing continually astound and enrapture me. recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Isaac | 1/8/2014

    " Lee is a brilliant writer, and if his shots are sometimes a little too cheap or his characterizations a little too pat, who cares? He is never not clever, and in this work he supplements his usual verbal acrobatics with loving descriptions of the best things in life, lifestyle porn that accuses as it celebrates. The book surprises throughout, not least with its ending - we've been expecting a tragedy throughout, and in the way we get one, but in an equally important way we don't, which is nice, because in our competent, absent hero and his family we're meant to read America in its declining period. His solution is the one I'd choose for us. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Grayson | 12/28/2013

    " Read this for author paper tutoring. Only okay. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Taylor Kate Brown | 12/22/2013

    " "The Problem of Being Sort of Himself" or I gave up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mark Myers | 12/17/2013

    " A funny, stylish writer, but not a great storyteller. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andra Watkins | 12/1/2013

    " Exquisite writing that weaves a kind of redemption. The story meanders at its own internal pace, and, by the time it closes, the reader wants to spend more time in its imaginary world. A lovely book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 11/26/2013

    " philip roth only not as white and uber-male. which means i loved it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melissa | 11/26/2013

    " Disappointing. Rambling. Tangential. Fluid, though, and easy to get lost in (but not in a good way). Mostly, I was annoyed while reading it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 suzanne | 11/16/2013

    " Artful, skilled writing and compelling storytelling. In the day and age of SMS and IM, it is refreshing to read someone who knows his way around a sentence that's more than 10 words long. I wish there were more books like this one. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lori Prehn | 11/14/2013

    " I just could not get into this book so I never finished it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Martha | 10/21/2013

    " Beautiful writing. I might read it again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 JDub | 1/23/2013

    " It was only OK compared to the two others of his I have read. Very nice prose regardless... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Priya | 11/30/2012

    " A look at the American Dream and how it can destroy people. Interesting read for October 2008. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paula | 10/26/2012

    " I found this to be beautifully written, and kept feeling like I knew the narrator...perhaps the Long Island Italian connection...thoroughly enjoyed reading it and the characters and didn't want it to end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kayne | 5/4/2012

    " I'd recommend this book to men over age 40. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melinda | 2/7/2012

    " I liked "Native Speaker," but loved "Aloft." It exemplifies what the author does best--expressing immigrant experiences and intergenerational family relationships in a richly textured, and emotive way. Plan to read all of his novels! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tara Duggan | 1/31/2012

    " it's hard to explain what this is about but the writing is beautiful and the characters really grow on you. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 kihan | 12/22/2011

    " I really loved the tenderness throughout the utterly disastrous situations in which the family members found themselves. Maybe we all secretly root for the healing, resolution and tenderness despite how addictive it is to be a part of the dysfunctional family. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meg | 10/29/2011

    " I wasn't sure I was crazy about this book in the beginning. It was so wordy, overly descriptive in every sentence, I got tired of it. But in the end, the characters and the story won me over and I wound up loving the book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 eunjin27 | 8/16/2011

    " I only got half way through this book...didn't really enjoy it. His other books were better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phil Miller | 6/5/2011

    " Life in Long Island. The writing similar to Updike, but at times more poetic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mark | 4/28/2011

    " A funny, stylish writer, but not a great storyteller. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paula | 2/14/2011

    " I found this to be beautifully written, and kept feeling like I knew the narrator...perhaps the Long Island Italian connection...thoroughly enjoyed reading it and the characters and didn't want it to end. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Nancy | 2/1/2011

    " didn't finish it. I was not getting into the main character so that it became a chore to return to reading the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin | 1/3/2011

    " A little slow for this author, but it works for him.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 12/16/2010

    " Really a guy's book. I just wasn't too interested in the main character who had withdrawn from the people in his life. Then I heard part of the story on audio and liked it better. The style and language are more appealing than the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 9/14/2010

    " This book grew on me. It was subtly profound and very moving. What started as a male-centric bore, really turned directions midway through the book. And, it was beautifully written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bruce | 8/3/2010

    " Cruise ship library find....what a delight. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jscorse | 7/24/2010

    " Entertaining but the end left me cold. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author Chang-Rae Lee

Chang-rae Lee is the author of Native Speaker, a Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award winner for first fiction, A Gesture Life, and Aloft. Selected by the New Yorker as one of the twenty best writers under forty, he teaches writing at Princeton.

About the Narrator

Don Leslie has appeared on Broadway, off Broadway, and in regional theaters throughout the country. He has been heard in thousands of commercials, promos for all the broadcast networks and most cable stations, political campaigns, movie trailers, and over fifty audiobooks.